Germany to keep social contact restrictions until 29 June

The German federal government and the country's 16 states decided in principle to keep coronavirus contact restrictions in place until 29 June, dpa reported, citing the federal press office statement. The agreement followed more than a day of consultations among the federal government in Berlin and state officials. The states may decide to ease some restrictions as of 6 June, for example the limit on gatherings to 10 people or a maximum of two households.

State representatives agreed that they would ease or toughen other rules that regulate behaviour in public spaces depending on local infection rates. The regional variations are made possible by Germany's federal division of powers, which has become the source of much debate during the current crisis. Responsibility for easing restrictions has shifted to the states in recent weeks.

On Tuesday evening, Germany had recorded 179,200 infections across the country, up from 178,800 24 hours earlier.  So far, 8,343 people have died of the novel virus, according to dpa's tally based on the latest numbers from the states. The reproduction rate of the virus is currently 0.7 in Germany, according to the Robert Koch institute for disease control.  That figure varies by region, and has fallen to 0.9 for Berlin, according to the latest data on Tuesday evening. On Monday, the German capital had topped the critical threshold of 1.

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